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LAST DANCE, LAST CHANCE - and Other True Cases

(Crime Files #8)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,425 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Paperback, 463 pages
Published January 2003 by Pocket Books (first published March 9th 2001)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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jv poore
At the end of the first story, I noticed the criminal was up for parole in 2019. Based on what Ms. Rule has taught me, I expected he'd gotten out earlier and was curious, so I googled his name.

Yes, he did get out early and yes, he's already been found to have committed the exact same crime in at least two different states since his release, although there don't appear to be any pending charges. I find that a bit disconcerting.
Katherine Addison
*"Last Dance, Last Chance": Buffalo NY 1999: Anthony Pignataro capped off a long and despicable history of medical malfeasance by attempting to murder his wife as part of a convoluted plot to clear himself of culpability in the death of a woman who came to him for breast-augmentation surgery. Despite the phenomenal amount of arsenic Deborah Pignataro's doctors found in her system, some twenty times the naturally-occurring rate of arsenic in the human body, she survived. Pignataro pled guilty and ...more
Jim Thomas
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Rule hits another one out of the park!
J.H. Moncrieff
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, solid Ann Rule classic of true crime cases. This volume has one story that takes up about half the book, and then several shorter stories.

Though I'm sure she didn't have a choice in the matter, one thing I don't understand is why the convicted criminals' names were changed to protect their identities, especially since they were murderers and repeat offenders. They also weren't pictured most of the time. I think once you've committed that kind of crime, your right to privacy is outweighed b
Jill Hutchinson
A so-so read from Ann Rule who is America's foremost writer of true crime. This book is made up of one novelette and three short stories. This novelette, Last Dance, Last Chance save this book from getting a lower rating. It is the chilling story of a doctor who is a total charlatan, loses his license and then decides to poison his loving wife for a rather obscure reason. Not a case I have heard of but it is interesting enough to hold your interest. The rest of the book reads like a series of ma ...more
Jan Sydnam
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rule is always captivating in her story telling. She takes your mind and emotions with her into the thick darkness of the criminal world. Her books are hard to put down once you start. As the victim's in the story start running, you, the reader start breathing harder as well. ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've read anything by Anne Rule, now I remember why. She writes of these criminals and their victims so vividly that they get into your head. I need to get them out now! ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vol. 8 of Ann Rule's Crime Files Books, which was centered around infamous Brooklyn-based plastic surgeon and his wife. No, it's not your serial killer story. It's quite dragging, focusing more on the struggles of the victimized wife (the author's trademark). The book contains 4 more short stories and one thing about all of these stories is, the perpetrators are still alive and some are already out there living with us. ...more
Jen Mays
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rule provides a detailed run down of one attempted murder case in New York in which an arrogant doctor tries to remove his wife from his life through slow and constant poisoning by arsenic. This was on top of a lifetime of using and abusing his relationships in every attempt to advance himself. Shortcuts were the name of the game for the guy, and any kind of criticism or humiliation was clearly incorrect and misplaced in his mind. His arrogance leads to the death of a patient in his office a ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
Very enjoyable. The first story reminded me of this of Stalin and his son before WWII.

Apparently, Stalin was a horrific father. He had at least three kids, two boys and a girl. The girl fled to America and the boys were killed in WWII.

However, before WWII broke out, one of his sons decided to kill him. Why? Ah, hell! Come on! Why wouldn't he want to? There's just too much to write on that topic.

This was his first of two attempts. The later attempt succeeded (because suicide is much more preferab
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your basic Ann Rule story where she writes her characters so well and vividly you feel like you know them. The main story was quite chilling, but not in a macabre sense. What made it so frightening is that Tony Pignataro was a practicing doctor (and now we know why them call them 'practicing' because it turns out we're all guinea pigs) who used his authority as a doctor to do whatever medical procedure he pleased whether he knew how to or not. His surgical standards were nowhere near code yet he ...more
Christie Stockstill
You probably already know that Rule writes true crime stories. Last Dance... contains about 5 stories. SAdly, as a somewhat desensitized, modern American, the stories don't stack up against other horrific thrillers, until you remember that you are reading about actual killers and actual victims. Then, it becomes a bit disturbing. I haven't read any other Ann Rule books, although someone gave me two more of her books, but I suspect she has better books out there than this. ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't know why I like true crime, and I don't think Ann Rule is a good writer, but there's something really enjoyable about reading these "Crime Files" books. Maybe it's similar to that morbid fascination that makes one slow down and look for blood when passing by a car accident. ...more
This was more interesting than the usual anthology, partly because a couple of the stories took place in locations and times that have links to my husband's life. The main story, about a criminally incompetent doctor, is fascinating. ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-we-own
I thought Last Dance Last Chance was boring. The only part that I thought was somewhat interesting were the short stories at the very end.
Michael Greer
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"guns don't kill people, but cosmetic surgery often does."

Social Selection Theory postulates that each individual enters the social order with a specific set of attributes which distinguish him or her from all others. This is the basic postulate from which all other conclusions may be derived. To illustrate how this works, let us set one Anthony Pignataro in motion. We trace these movements from his conviction-"Anthony Pignataro was the first medical doctor in the region's history to be convict
Laura Leilani
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You just can't make stuff like this up; no one would believe it! The novella is about a man from an upper middle class family who wanted to be a Dr. Since he couldn't do it the traditional way, he did it himself. He printed up his own diplomas and accreditations, opened a clinic where he did surgeries in the basement. He was successful, if by that you mean he drove a Lamborghini. However the basement surgery room had nothing in case a patient went into crisis. Not a smart move, considering no th ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“In a sense, all my stories are about liars. Some of the killers I write about have lied all their lives, and some have lied only to throw their victims off balance so that they become vulnerable.”

I really feel like Ann Rule was the very best at writing true crime, and Last Dance, Last Chance was no exception to this. The main story followed a narcissistic doctor on his path of killing patients and eventually poisoning his wife. Anne Rule always does a great job at looking at the why’s of the ca
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my 1st Ann Rule book, i haven’t been able to find A Stranger Beside Me at the library yet. I don’t really read true crime so it’s a first for that genre in general. I really liked the main story and the depth that she goes into each person involved. The smaller stories at the end could’ve been left off I think. Overall she has a really engaging way of writing that I enjoyed but I definitely need some unicorn chaser books in between.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all collections of murder tales, this book lays out the case of an untrained unlicensed "doctor" as he weaves a web of lies that ends up in medical deaths and malpractices lawsuits. When the "doctor's" wife starts suffering from unknown cases, is she being poisoned? Yes she is. The majority of the book is about that case while the remaining 50-100 pages cover various murder cases from the past.

Great read.
Delvia Alsina
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual Ann Rule does an extraordinary writing of true crime. She does not leave anything out and makes you know the perpetrator well. The first story is about a narcissus doctor. This is the one people should read even if you don't want to read the three short ones. How a person who thinks he is God and blames everyone else for his life is totally insane... ...more
Anne Brown
I've read many, many Ann Rule books but this wasn't one of my favorites. Not sure why - it just didn't grab me like other have. Also didn't care that much for the short cases at the end of the book in this one. Still an enjoyable read and I do love her writing style very much. ...more
Aurora Dimitre
This was interesting. It's my first Ann Rule book, and my first true crime that wasn't Columbine-centered, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go when I went in. But I liked it! It was a very easy read, but not dumbed down. It was pretty decent. ...more
Turgut Yıldırım
Real life crime story engagingly told.I guessed who done the evil but what interested me was how it was going to be revaled.That kept my curiosity all story long.On the other hand, story to be taken from real life really impressed me.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was told incredibly well and the reader truly felt like they knew the people throughout. My heart feels for all the families who were tragically impacted by Anthony. Highly recommend this eye opening story.
Huguette Larochelle
my favorite author . true stories. and she know how to writ it.
some hardcore criminal out there
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phew, I picked this book up at a market, thinking I would try something different. And I loved it. The stories really suck you in. In my next life, I want to be a crime researcher!
Deanne Smithey
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rule knows how to draw you in to her cases of true crime.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps belabors details at some points. Fun story.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it took me only a day to read. Everyone I talk to says they love to read her but she and I are not on the same page. I did a lot of yawning and napping during this book.
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Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.

She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching th

Other books in the series

Crime Files (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • A Rose for Her Grave and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #1)
  • You Belong to Me and Other True Crime Cases (Crime Files, # 2)
  • A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)
  • In the Name of Love and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #4)
  • The End of the Dream: The Golden Boy Who Never Grew Up (Crime Files, #5)
  • A Rage to Kill and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #6)
  • Empty Promises and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #7)
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #9)
  • Worth More Dead and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #10)
  • No Regrets and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #11)

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